Attention Fish-Powered Garden Growers – Discover The Plans, Equipment and Supplies You Need To Build Your DIY Fish Farm In Your Backyard or Indoors!
Becoming an aquaponics expert is no small feat. When I heard I could build a fish tank in my backyard, fill it full of tilapia, and use the waste products to grow amazing vegetables I thought they were kidding.
Rather than dismiss the notion, I jumped on the internet and saw aquaponics videos and training sites filled with pictures and case studies of guys getting 40 or 50 pounds of tilapia from a set up a quarter of the size of a typical above ground swimming pool.
I made a list of questions for myself…feel free to save them for your own research!
- What are the best fish for my tank?
- Can I grow any kind of vegetables with my small scale fish farm? (you may want to look at this list first)
- What equipment do I need to start my aquaponic beds? (the good news is I can show you how to save a bunch of money)
- Does the media for my grow beds expire or need to be recycled?
- Are there aquaculture kits or do I need to buy the supplies in bulk? (the answer might surprise you!)
- How much does the typical aquaponic set-up cost?
- How can I save money when getting started? (I’ll show you the top 5 mistakes rookies make and how to avoid them)
- Who are the top 5 experts in the field of aquaponic gear and how can I pick their brains
- What about northern climates and winterizing my equipment? (the darn polar vortex can mess up your tank, grow beds, pump, and kill your fish!)
I went to Youtube, did a few weeks of research and bookmarked two dozen solid videos showing tank setup, assembly and purchasing guides, fingerlings and feeding, the works. The problem was what do you do with a hundred hours of video?
I went online and bought a half dozen ebooks, courses and aquaponic training systems…some were rubbish, some were fantastic. I did a couple of reviews, I’ll be happy to email them to you.
Knowing what to look for in a step-by-step blueprint is important.
Do you want an indoor system?
Do you want a table-top tank and betta fish?
Do you want a two-season tank, outdoors part of the year and the rest in the garage or basement?
Do you have a budget for your aquafarm set-up and cost of operation?
Are you satisfied growing bettas, goldfish zebras and guppies or do you want to enjoy delicious tilapia?
Are you going to grow mixed greens, wheatgrass, parsley, mint, arugula and basil or do you want to step up to potatoes, yams, rutabagas, carrots and other root veggies?
If It Turns Green, It’s Usually THIS Problem!
LISTEN…I know it’s kind of scary, and exciting at the same time. I once had a backyard swimming pool turn bright green one summer when I went camping for a week. Algae is a real problem for a mid-sized tank and garden set-up. Usually its 1 of 2 problems….too much fish food, or too much sunlight. Controlling the shade is step 1…and holding back on overfeeding is step 2.
On the smaller tank setups, especially the indoors you can use a micro-jet water pump…here’s a quick tip. When you’re buying a pump, only get it from a place with an iron-clad guarantee on returns…if there is too much vibration or if its too loud for your family, the headaches aren’t worth the upside of a fresh salad. Pick a submersible pump that has enough power to move your tank water, but quiet enough that you don’t have to wear earplugs.
A common mistake I see when starting out is buying way too many fingerlings for the tank. Unless you have a pirahna a good rule of thumb is no more than 2 fish per gallon, and with bettas you can do 1 per gallon. Whether you’re using LED tank light or a 50 watt heater, dial it in right around 80 degrees F to start.
Picking The Right Fish Is Important!
Pick fish that are somewhat tolerant to ammonia and nitrite fluctuations. The bettas, guppies and goldfish are inexpensive and a good starting place. For eating purposes, you can’t go wrong with tilapia. If it’s in your budget start your tank with distilled water, not tap. You’ll need sand, some pea gravel, and media for your grow beds.
Where do you buy your seeds? I have a resource of my favorite heirloom seeds companies that I can email you.
If you’re in a city, try Craigslist for a used fish tank or home aquarium set-up. The first 2-3 seasons treat aquaponics like a big experiment, and getting used gear can save you small fortune. I’ve seen $3000 aquarium systems go for $250 after a couple broke up. I knew a guy who had a pet snake choose the girlfriend over poor Charlie. He sold his tank for 10 cents on the dollar.
An Amazing Bio-Filter!
Your plants roots are natures self-wicking cleaning system. The bacteria breaks down the fish waste ammonia and converts it to nitrites which get absorbed by the plants, converted via photosynthesis into living green material.
It’s Truly Impressive Science… And Old!
Apparently the ancient Aztecs in central America were farming fish and veggies together about 12 centuries ago. In England they were lobbing rocks at castles via catapults around the same time!
There is a LOT to learn…but the good news is you don’t have to get it perfect your first day, you just have to get it going!
Here’s The Free Aquaponics Tools I Have For You
I compiled my 5 favorite resources for getting started. They’re dirt cheap, free or nearly free. Definitely less than the price you’d pay for a tilapia dinner for two at a fancy Italian restaurant.
I also have 3 of my favorite Youtube aquaponics teachers linked. This will save you at least 100 hours of research time.
I also reviewed 9 different books, video courses and vendors…I’ll be happy to give those to you as well.
I’ll email you my 5 Tools Cheat Sheet first. Welcome to the wonderful world of aquaponics, you will be do great. When you taste that first bite of fresh veggies from your aquagarden you’ll know it was worth it.